York’s Dante Festival had already given us plenty of food for thought ahead of this summer’s Flat racing highlights and the weekend that followed only served to add further intrigue.
And with the Epsom Derby and Royal Ascot now on the horizon we’re starting to get a good idea of where trainers are aiming their big guns.
Here’s our take on the developing news stories and market movers…
The Gurkha storms into Derby contention
This time last week we were lamenting the rather disjointed build-up to this year’s Derby, which had lacked a standout performer with clear intentions to line-up in Surrey
However, that’s all changed following last week’s Dante win for Wings of Desire and Sunday’s incredible performance from The Gurkha.
Aidan O’Brien’s charge posted a Racing Post Rating of 122 in blitzing the Poule d’Essai des Poulains at Deauville and in turn has been made the 3/1 favourite for the 1m4f Classic.
On only his third start, the son of Galileo scored by five-and-a-half lengths in the French showpiece, making him the one for everyone else to aim at.
Frankel foal looks set for the Chesham
The road to Royal Ascot has begun in earnest and in something of a throwback it’s a famous son who’s generated plenty of headlines.
Frankel’s first foal Cunco is now being aimed at the Chesham following his debut victory at Newbury last Friday.
Meanwhile, last year’s Queen Mary winner Acapulco warmed up for her royal return by registering a facile success at Churchill Downs on Saturday.
The Wesley Ward-trained filly is the 6-1 joint-favourite for the Kings’ Stand and 3-1 market leader for the Commonwealth Cup.
Glory for Godolphin as Log Out Island and Belardo shine
If going for the latter race, Acapulco could have some stiff competition from 10/1 shot Log Out Island.
The Godolphin charge made all the running to take the Carnavon Stakes in the hands of James Doyle on Saturday.
It was a performance that took the breath away and a far cry from disappointing recent efforts.
Belardo also roared back into life for the boys in blue with his one-length Lockinge victory over Euro Charline a promising return to form.
Last year’s champion juvenile is now an 8/1 chance for next month’s Queen Anne Stakes.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.